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Belgium – Unclear on market direction

Published: 15 Dec, 2021

One commenter reports that they find it difficult to get a clear idea of the direction of the market as we head into 2022. It is known that the automotive industry will not recover to full capacity for some time yet (latest predictions are not until 2023). So, the big question remains – will the demand for finished leather be higher or lower than the supply? Freight costs and container/vessel space continue to remain a major headache, both logistically and financially. Chinese tanners are buying, but the freight costs often eat away at any margins.
Italian tanner interest has now gone quiet and they have more than enough offers of hides available around Europe to be able to pick and choose when they buy and, to a degree, at what price levels.
Bull hides have been under price pressure for the past three months, and have lost about a third of their value. Cowhides continue to be sold to Chinese tanners, and here the price has increased slightly over the same period, but then again so have the associated freight rates. Caesarean hides are in short supply, and so have held steady on price when sold to Italian tanners.
As one commenter put it, after the rain there is sure to be some sunshine, the trouble is how long is the wait.

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